The power of a good morning routine is no secret.
People now know that establishing a good morning routine helps with energy and productivity. Everyone listens to the greats:
- Bill Gate starts his day with 1 hour on the treadmill while watching educational videos
- Oprah does meditation
- Twitter founder Jack Dorsey does 30 minutes of meditation followed by 21 minutes of working out.
Yet still, you get the self-help gurus trying to sell you on morning routines that might not be the best fit for you. They say to wake up at 5 AM, but your day job ends at 11 PM. “Do Zen meditation every morning” they preach, but maybe you’ve tried it and it doesn’t seem to work for you.
Advice that is so rigid is rarely good. A morning routine and the habits which form it shouldn’t be so complicated. We shouldn’t be trying to make a one-size-fits-all approach either.
I want to introduce to you three much better morning habits that you can cultivate to feel more energized every single day. The focus here is on simplicity and practicality, things that anyone can easily fit into their schedule and tailor to fit perfectly into their life.
Drink a big glass of water first thing when you wake up. It should be automatic, your very first action after climbing out of bed.
Water does a number of great things for your body. First off, it immediately wakes you up and helps to shake off that morning drowsiness. You may still feel the need for a coffee or tea to give you a boost and that’s fine. But have the water first because coffee and tea dry out your mouth and throat, so you’ll want to be well-hydrated beforehand.
Drinking water will also do what I like to call a hunger reset. When you’re having cravings even though you’re not actually hungry, you might feel inclined to nibble on snacks that aren’t very healthy. Have a glass of water before you reach for those snacks and you’ll instantly feel your cravings calm down.
Finally, in general, being dehydrated will lower your performance. You’ll feel more tired, more fatigued, and really just not up to work. Do yourself a favor and have that glass of water first thing.
(2) Light Exercise
I call this section Light Exercise for a very specific reason.
Many people find getting into a heavy exercise routine quite daunting, especially if it’s starting in the morning. You also don’t want to tire yourself out before you head in for an 8-hour workday.
Instead, stick to a light exercise routine. The goal here isn’t to push yourself super hard — we can save that for a routine later in the day. The purpose of the morning exercise to get your body moving. To energize you. To get into a mood of “hey, I’m moving, I’m awake now.”
Going for a walk is a great way of doing this. Most people aren’t out in the morning so it’s nice to have that quiet, relaxing, and healthy exercise time to yourself. I really like doing things like push-ups, situps, handstands, and other lighter resistance exercises. I’m burning calories and increasing my strength without tiring myself out. Even 10 to 15 minutes is enough to give you that spark of energy.
Having a light exercise routine for the morning is a great way to energize you and establish the healthy habit of exercise.
Self-reflection is one of the most personally rewarding and most effective habits you can have, at any time of the day. We emphasize doing it in the morning because once it’s part that routine, you won’t miss it. And it’s nice to reflect on the previous day once you’ve had a good night’s sleep and your emotions are fully cleared.
You can self-reflect in a number of different ways. I’d personally recommend standing for this and even pacing around to get the juices flowing. Then, ask yourself three questions:
- What did you do really well yesterday?
- What did you not do well yesterday?
- What can you do today to improve on what happened with #2
Asking yourself these three simple questions each morning will get you in the habit of both recognizing your successes and improving upon any mistakes you’ve made.
If you wish, I’d also personally recommend writing this down in a journal. This will help ingrain what you learn each day from your self-reflection, as well as serve as an account of what you’ve thought of before. Down the road, you can look back to see if there are any trends and to celebrate your improvements.